The mention of White Mane in the company of fellow ACW enthusiasts will likely elicit a range of responses. Most recently in his blog, Eric Wittenberg has talked about a book recently published by White Mane that reflects very poorly on that press. I didn't like the book either and I was unfortunately unaware of the copyright problems mentioned by Eric when I wrote my review for North & South magazine. Even beyond that, I was hoping readers were able to “read between the lines” of my displeasure with the book…how successful I was I have no idea.
That being said, White Mane has published some very fine books that shouldn't be overlooked amongst the dreck so I’ve decided to do a short “Best of White Mane” series. I think in general that today's cost-cutting publishers (I presume especially so for the small ones) have largely abdicated their responsibilities in terms of fact checking and proofreading and rather depend far too much on the intellectual honesty and good faith thoroughness of the author. Some authors come through this with flying colors and others fail miserably. I have talked with a few CW authors who have even had to do their own indexes—is that typical? On the other hand, some authors of badly published works swear that, in their particular case, spelling errors and the like are on the publishing/printing side of the division of labor. Regardless of who is at fault, I am saddened and more than a bit angered when I read a book that has a typo on almost every page (even more so if the book is very good otherwise).
Installment one of “Best of White Mane” to follow.